'One-point' Lessons

Lesson #37: Re-surfacing sharpening stones ...

(entry by Eli Griggs)

Q: After sharpening my knives and other tools, my sharpening stones gradually develop a worn place in the middle, no matter how carefully I try to use the entire surface of the stone. Can they be 'repaired'? How?

A: A simple way to maintain flat waterstones is through the use of drywall sanding screens. Available at hardware stores and home centers, they are nothing more than rigid, open mesh to which abrasive grit has been bonded. Precut to fit common, drywall sanding poles, each measures 4 3/8 x 11 inches (111 x 279mm) they are large enough for most waterstones. They also come in several grades/grits, so select a medium grade for your first time out.

To use one, first lightly tape a sheet of paper onto a plate of flat glass to catch the loose grit that will come from the waterstone. Place the screen on the paper.

Using only light pressure, begin to work the dry stone over the screen. As the waterstone grit clogs the screen, lift the screen up and tap it gently on the paper, knocking the grit out. Push all this loose grit to the side so the screen remains flat on the paper/glass. Continue until all the high spots on the stone have disappeared.

If you want to reserve the waterstone grit and use it later with strops, etc., then use a different screen with each grade/grit of waterstone, to avoid mixing the grades. Otherwise just discard the grit and paper.

The screen should be useable for several sessions.